This retreat, led by queer and trans teachers, will offer you the opportunity to explore & discover known & unknown parts of yourself through the experience of guided & silent meditations, holistic coaching, yoga, movement and dance sessions, massage therapy, somatic drawing exercises, dharma talks with dialogue and chanting for those who like to.
As we go upstream against mainstream narratives of lack & anxiety in a monetary world view, there is an island, a resting place of sanctuary. A place of ease we can slowly become familiar with, allowing this ease to grow as our trust in ourselves grows to rely on resting into our body, one way is meditations on the elements, (oxygen, liquids, temperatures, solidities) amongst other embodied meditations. Our society gives little value to rest, so often pushing us towards a sense of lack & not being good enough: let's have some time to refresh, resource & rest .....
In our sensual bodies lives not only kindness for ourselves & much needed love, but also fluidity & groundedness as essential oils for these uncertain times. Fluidity to duck when we need to, suppleness to sway when the winds of the world are too strong & groundedness to establish wholesome boundaries & a stable sense of presence .
Coming into friendship with our innate gentle & supple strengths, we can meet our edges, our feelings of non belonging, our residues of not being understood.....& find our roots, our feet firmly planted in releasing what is no longer necessary, allowing ourselves to be fully our own being, & to enjoy this.
Based in classical Buddhist elements meditations (and open to those from all spiritual backgrounds), from the first foundation of mindfulness, the four elements of air, water, earth & fire, I invite meditators into this crucible of kindness & steadiness. To come into embodiment through deep connection with sensations of skin, bones, fluids, breathing, heat, energy.
This crucible is not a bypassing of our troubles. Finding ease within our dwelling, can be a challenge for LGBTQIA+ peoples who have often suffered from the shyness of feeling like the "outsider", through to extreme self-consciousness, or body dysphoria and/or the stress of living in a hetero-patriarchal system...
The disconnection between our mind and body is very often extreme and causes suffering. When we begin to understand that it's possible to connect the two in a gentle and peaceful way (through meditation, yoga, movement , bodywork, and discussion), suddenly a door opens to a new way of seeing ourselves and life.
We can by moments find a pathway, often a small jungle path, into this ease in our own bodies...sometimes it's just a whisper of this opening we hear in meditation leading to a trust in ourselves that we can explore these unknown paths.
This offering a taste of embodied moments can lubricate a confidence in ourselves of the awakened aliveness residing in our bones. Giving ourselves experience of the impermanence & impersonal nature of our shared commonalities, (water in the body, air in the lungs, capillaries etc), soothes our dwelling, into coming out of anxiety as an old survival habit, into befriending the offerings of our inner eco system.
Pain is often associated with parts of ourselves that we dislike and reject… in actuality, it goes deeper than that… When we understand the core of our pain and how to deal with it, it can be very powerful and healing.
To be very clear: this is not to dismiss the difficulties we experience as Trans/Queer/non Binary people but to gather strength, clarity & some restfulness for our nervous systems...
Come one or two days before if you wish to relax into the place.
Lenzea (she/her) is a performance artist for many years with a deep affection for different forms of movements, creativity and healing. She decided to combine all of her tools to help others to reconnect with their sacred body with yoga, movement, dance and stillness. Lenzea is also a therapist that works with the Craniosacral Rhythm, Water and Sound. She discovered that by listening and feeling our inner liquid rhythm, we can intuit how to easily move our bodies to free ourselves.
Lucas's (he/him) inner journey brought him to meditation, self development and spirituality… a life long journey where each step leads us to self discovery and inner freedom. Lucas helps people to understand how mind, body and spirit are connected and how by looking inside our self and taking responsibility in our own life, we can co create our own happiness. He speaks french, english & portugese & is a trans man.
Holistic Coaching sessions
During our time together we will explore how mind, body and emotions are connected, and how it can affect our everyday life in a poitive or a negative way. As a LGBTQIA being, the disconnection can be extreme and the rejection can cut the self in parts, bringing suffering and despair. A session will be a discussion on different aspects of your life, in order to discover the dynamic that is playing out (and preventing you from being happy) and to understand the cause(s). Each session is a combination of discussion, interactive exchanges and practical exercises that allow you to start a concrete change.
I'm Rachel (she/her), a polyvagal-informed, awareness-oriented bodyworker, certified in Structural Integration, and currently training in Neuroaffective Touch, a somatic modality that addresses early developmental traumas. I previously worked for years in social services in the field of mental health with adults and kids. I'm into endlessly continuing to learn about somatics and neuroscience, meditation, poetry, music with soul, dancing with soul, getting muddy while working in gardens, endlessly continuing to dig also into oneself, funky weird people, excess garlic, and exploring and challenging ideas of social norms and conditioning. I grew up among the redwood trees on the West Coast of the US. I have lived as a community member at Ekuthuleni since 2020. I am queer and neurodivergent, and speak English, German, and French. www.heartembodied.com
PAST RETREATS PICTURES
Noon Baldwin (he/him) is an ex circus artist & street performer who retired from the circus in 2004 to dedicate life to spiritual practice, living in dhamma centers (France & south Africa) & Amaravati monastery, (UK).
Noon co-created Ekuthuleni rustic retreat place with Sumedha (Hannah Bagshaw).
Ekuthuleni is a back to basics meditation center in the foothills of the french Pyrenees. The emphasis is on meditation & ecological awareness, & bringing these two together. Noon's main influence is the buddhist tradition of Ajahn Chah , with an interest in all spiritualities, (following retreats & courses with Jaya Ashmore from Open Dharma since 2008). He enjoys how the traditional & open spirituality practices meet as one in his heart. His varied life experience brings a listening with vibrancy,an alive practice he loves to share.
Connecting with curiosity & energy, with a sense of embodying spiritual practice through in depth body grounding meditations are Noon's fields of exploration. He is transgendered....a two spirit person all in one.
Cost & Practicals
The space of practice that is Ekuthuleni is made available with a heart of practice and integrity. All of what is here has been offered in one way or another - through, energy, time, in meditation or money. This is the spirit of dana or generosity.
There is a non refundable and non transferable booking fee for each retreat. If events are cancelled due to Covid , Ekuthuleni will refund the booking fee entirely. The booking fee covers basic costs (such as food, insurance, gas and water).
We are a non profit organisation and for all other costs we depend on donations, dana. It is this way of participation and generosity that really keeps the Dharma rolling, as in dharma centers all over the world!
Booking fee for this retreat: €170, plus €10 membership of Association Ekuthuleni for one year (a legal requirement to take part in our activities)
To book contact us on email@example.com